Willis, Winters Receive Carl Sandburg College Alumni Awards

  Aaron Frey
  Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:15 PM
  Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College honored the 2018 recipients of its Distinguished Alumnus Award and Outstanding Young Alumnus Award during the College’s 50th annual Commencement on Thursday night at Galesburg High School.

Craig Willis ’90 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Krista Winters ’06 received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Raised on a corn and soybean farm outside Monmouth, Willis is the former president of the ethanol business in Archer Daniels Midland Company’s corn-processing business unit. Willis spent more than 25 years with ADM, the largest producer of ethanol in the United States.

Willis served in other roles during his career with ADM, including as vice president of ethanol and as commercial manager of several large oilseed crush plants in the U.S. He also managed origination and transportation assets within ADM’s agricultural services business unit.

After earning his associate degree from Sandburg in 1990, Willis transferred to the University of Illinois, where is graduated with a bachelor’s in agricultural economics in 1992.

Winters has been a biology professor at Spoon River College in Canton since 2011, teaching microbiology, anatomy and physiology; and general biology. She also teaches part-time at Sandburg.

Winters began her college career as a nontraditional student at Sandburg in 2003. She initially worked toward a degree in nursing but soon realized she wanted to teach. She earned her associate degree from Sandburg in 2006, then transferred to Western Illinois University, where she earned her bachelor’s in science in 2008 and a master’s in biology in 2010.

Before starting at Sandburg, Winters did not believe she was college material. She had dropped out of high school after her junior year with a 1.9 GPA, but she credits the faculty at Sandburg for giving her the confidence to succeed. That helped drive her to enter the teaching field and work toward her master’s, allowing her to teach students at the community college level and inspire the same confidence in them.


2018 — Craig Willis

2017 — Dr. Karmen Hopkins

2016 — Robert Mason

2015 — Dr. Judy Glaser

2014 — Judge Thomas Keith

2013 — Jim Purlee

2012 — Susan Swartwout

2011 — Cynthia Kitchen

2010 — Cynthia Kiffer

2009 — Joshua D. Gibb

2008 — Brenda Stewart Clevidence

2007 — Bonni Smith-Skripps

2006 — Sandra Gavin

2005 — Tara Miller

2004 — Dave Burns

2003 — Dr. Lori Sundberg

2002 — Christine Baumgardner

2001 — Lannie Cation

2000 — Sharon Graham

1999 — Linda Foster

1998 — Victor Miller

1997 — Betty Thal

1996 — Rose Stockman

1995 — Larry Schwartz

1994— Daniel Baker

1993 — Ann Murdock

1992 — Jan Lundeen

1991 — No award given

1990 — Louis Gamage & Mary Louderman

1989 — Janice Champion

1988 — Donna Medina

1987 — Gerald Strom Jr.

1986 — John Delawder III

1985 — Russell Orwig

1984 — Daniel Bailey

1983 — Jerry Latherow

1982 — F. Dale Cozad

1981 — Maren Kay Carlson

1980 — Daniel Baker

1979 — William Campbell


2018 — Krista Winters

2017 — Matthew Wolford

2016 — Elvith Santoyo-McNaught

2015 — Travis Nesby

2014 — Trevor Davies

2013 — Naomi Wai

2012 — Ashley Swick

Press Contact

Aaron Frey